Interview with Family In Music's founder and CEO Juka Hynynen

In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week and Entrepreneurs Day!
November 17 2020     by Chryssa Skodra
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Today, November 17, Entrepreneurs Day is celebrated in the United States amidst the Global Entrepreneurship Week that is taking place throughout this week. Let us honor entrepreneurial spirit by introducing Family In Music’s CEO and found Juka Hynynen. Juka got recently interviewed by Teosto, Finland’s Performance Rights Organization that collects royalties on behalf of songwriters and composers. Here’s what he had to say about entrepreneurship, digitalization and innovation!

Family in Music will be launched in early 2021. What sprouted the idea for Family in Music in the first place?

The first ideas about Family in Music were doodled already in 2013. I had just returned from being an A&R Manager in a major label to running my own indie label Jiffel Music at the same time when digitalization started to really change the industry. Records were no longer sold and digital services were only starting to emerge. At that point, it was already clear that digitalization would change the old structures, which needed to be redesigned in our existing business, too. As a result, a dense idea about a digital service and a platform for the new generation to help improve prerequisite for operation both for independent artists as well as indie labels was molded. During the years the initial idea refined into Musiikin Urapolku (Career Path of a Musician), an online course launched in 2016, which was an important lesson learned about the digital environment and moved us towards what we are building now.

Has the distress that the music industry is in now because of COVID-19 impacted your point of view negatively or positively regarding FAIM?

In the big picture COVID-19 has strengthened, if possible, the feeling that we are doing exactly the right things and that the world needs Family in Music more than ever. We are solving a lot of challenges that the old way of doing things caused. Networking and untraditional digital contracts are some of these measures to name a few. These solutions will be needed more and more, as travelling is restricted at the same time as global collaborations grow in number.

Everyday life has also got its dose of Corona hassle, also in Family in Music. We had a large recruitment campaign that has led to our team growing, and it has sure been interesting to try and build a working culture at the same time remote working. During the spring we recruited 5 new employees without ever actually meeting with them until the whole team had a kick-off day after the newcomers had been in the team for over a month. All things considered, everything has gone well, and we have put up an amazing team!

You have said that you want to challenge traditional record labels. What -in your opinion- is outdated about them and what can FAIM offer that record labels can’t?

Record labels are primarily an important customer segment for us, one that we wish to help with our service in the future. However, we offer basically the same modern and cost-efficient solutions to running a business in music both to artists and record labels, which means that some of the artists become essentially labels themselves. This can lead to a situation where a label that was considering signing this particular artist, turns from a traditional label into a manager or a consultant which leads further to the possibility of better art. The only difference is that the ownership of masters and copyrights are elsewhere than what we are used to. In that sense, it is true that we challenge the traditional record labels, whose business is solely based on owning the masters.

It doesn’t mean though that the record labels wouldn’t have their place in the future as well, because they certainly do. We want to build nontraditional resolutions also in this corner of the industry, as we see that a lot could be improved, and a lot of value could be offered to tens of thousands of small labels.

FAIM has addressed its service especially to independent artists working without a label and music industry professionals. Why is the target audience this?

DIY artists are globally the fastest-growing segment within the music industry, and this change we’ve seen so far is only the beginning. However, during a certain phase in an artist’s career, they generally need some help one way or another. We want to connect the dots – artists and professionals, people giving and receiving help – in that sweet spot where it produces value in both ends.

What can be seen right now as well is that a growing number of artists and other creatives are corporatizing their work and shifting into entrepreneurship. This new kind of entrepreneurs don’t really benefit from the services in the market at the moment, so we are building one for them as well. The service includes for example tools to make everyday life easier and help run the business smoother.

Let’s think about a young but promising rapper that has done a couple of self-published demos and dreams of a bigger audience. What could FAIM offer them and what they should do after registering to the service? How could let’s say an A&R Manager utilizes FAIM?

FAIM has a couple of different service levels to fit the needs of different target audiences. The platform provides the rapper from your example with a comprehensive solution for developing and managing their career. The A&R Manager can benefit from the platform by scouting new talent, supporting artist development, and building networks, to name a few.

FAIM apparently also offers career development services. What does it mean in practice? Will you be having webinars and such?

For sure we will also provide webinars in the future, but for now, career development services have a lot to do with marketing. At the core, there is a combination of measurable and comparable data and educational content that reaches all different factors in the music business such as creating music, releasing it, marketing, and commercial collaborations.

What does FAIM cost for an emerging artist, what about a music professional? What does your income consist of?

We have not yet released our pricing policy, but that will happen soon! Our service will have a Freemium possibility for everyone as well as fixed packages for different needs that will be based on a monthly premium.

Our income consists of a mixture of monthly payments and percentage-based commissions.

FAIM utilizes AI. In what kind of use will it be applied on?

In FAIM’s usage AI means that we gather data from different sources and create a logic based on the information and how we want to utilize it. This process is a vital part of our future and we see its role in for example scouting new talent as significant.

How many users will FAIM have in a year, what about 5 years? What do you reckon is the biggest obstacle or challenge for the success of FAIM?

At this point your guess about the number of users is as good as mine. It is really hard to say, and it will be affected largely by work being done in the product development during the next months.

The biggest challenge is to resource all aspects accordingly so that we are able to grow without suffocating ourselves. After all, I am confident that we Faimers have things under control and that we’ll thrive with a common effort from our international team of superstars!

Happy Entrepreneurs’ Day to all inspiring people driving change in technology and the music industry!

Read the final article on Teosto's website here.

Chryssa Skodra
Chryssa Skodra is the ’Greek Goddess of Social Media and Content’. She is a multi-talented communications and marketing expert, award-winning blogger, event organiser and educator. Chryssa has been a music radio journalist for 10 years and is passionate about branding and audio branding.